It´s fair to say that, during the past few months the pace of life has slowed down a significant amount. Because of the Corona crises many companies have gone bust, shops have closed, and a lot of people have lost their jobs – and been confined to their homes.
Stories have been told all over the world of people dusting off their old sewing machines from their attic’s and starting to sew their own masks and mend their old clothes, since it simply has not been possible to just go out and buy new ones, or getting items shipped cheaply from the other side of the world by clicking a button on your computer. This Corona Virus pandemic has changed all of our lives and the way we are used to living.
Frustrating for some, but I really do strongly believe that we have many experiences we can take forward. We’ve had a lot to learn from this lock down quickly not only about our need and wants but consumer patterns both from a personal and economic aspect as well as environmental and sustainable one.
Sometimes Moving Forward Means Taking A Few Steps Back
When I grew up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in a smaller town Linköping in southeast Sweden as a child. My grandfather was a professional tailor by trade as well as is two brothers and my great grandfather. I’ve watched my granddad Bengt make many fashion items in his studio as, fashion runs in our family.
I also feel that the era that they were living in, being young in the early 1940´s was an inspiring and innovative time just before the so called third industrial revolution. This time set a path to the information and technology society that we have today. However, back then with World War II just around the corner things obviously could be tough. You literally had to use the resources that you had and make the most of it. Buying goods locally and living organically and sustainable compared, to the reality that we live in today. We can learn from our history and when armed with this knowledge creativity so often comes out of necessity.
It Often It Takes Some Kind Of Crisis To Change Our Behaviour Drastically
My hope, and I know that I am not alone in this, that post corona virus the “new normal” will include a paradigm shift of even more awareness of our collective global challenges that we are now together facing.
Personally, I also started to change my lifestyle a few years back. I had a very fast paced job working in sales and marketing for a global company that one day made me stop and start questioning my real purpose and goal in life whilst living on this planet. And since I’d always had a very strong interest in climate change even as a child, it´s clear to say that sustainable fashion combines one of my two passions in life.
Once I started finding out more about the fashion industry I also, did not appreciate how harmful the fast fashion industry really is. Producing fashion items can even cause more damage to the planet than the aviation industry and mining of fossil fuels. For example, a newly produced pair of denim jeans takes about 10, 000 litres of water to make and that is about the same amount that the average person would drink for a whole year! That is crazy in my world/opinion and should be in everyone’s world too: when you are aware of the facts it´s simply impossible to turn your blind eye and there is no going back.
A few years back I had an opportunity to train for a sustainable fashion label, Stockholm Remake co- founded by award winning fashion designer Marie Teike and in corporation with the local charity Stockholm city mission. This was where my real journey in sustainable fashion began.
While I’d been used to sitting in an overcrowded, super busy and noisy open plan office right in the middle of the city centre in Stockholm for many years with e-mails and deadlines around the clock. My new job certainly was a contrast for me as well as an adventure of learning how to use industrial sewing machines in a warehouse outside the city. I fell in love with the creative atmosphere here. I worked for 2 years in the studio learning how to up-cycle, which means taking material from old clothes that had been donated, making “new” designed items of the old fabric. Along the way I started to work on my own designs as well in my little self-made studio at home…
Last But Not Least: I Do Believe That We Can Change Our Own Patterns And Paths In Life By “Re-Design” The Way That We Are Thinking Progressively And Re-Write The Rules!
What Do You Think?
About The Author
I am based in the beautiful city of Stockholm, Sweden. Close to nature, where I grew up and am now championing, sustainable fashion and a sustainable lifestyle. I believe that the way we live, consume and our behaviour is all linked to our environment and our personal health.
I use the skills and techniques that I have learned and source my materials solely from local second-hand charity shops. I make dresses and tops from old denim jeans, dresses, jackets and coats from curtains and tablecloths and currently looking for old blankets to make coats and jackets for fall. I am collaborating with fashion blogs and other creative forums and open for small scale orders on demand.
I do find a lot of the old classical vintage brands inspiring especially “Gabrielle (aka Coco) Chanel. Besides that, she was a fascinating character herself and led an interesting life. Coco Chanel was revolutionary when it came to fashion and female liberation at her time, breaking all the norms when it came to femininity and the way a woman should live her life.